While I’m in Italy, I thought I would post some of the quick watercolor sketches I did the last time I was at La Romita School of Art back in 2008. This little piece shows the courtyard of the 15th century monastery where we stay. There is a wonderful old chapel, filled with old frescoes, that serves as our studio. We’ll each have a table to work on, space to store our supplies, and a wall to hang our new masterpieces. Nora Venturelli will also teach some classes there. In the last couple of decades, the owners have built a separate kitchen and dining building. On most days, all of the artists and other travelers will meet there for breakfast, lunch and dinner to enjoy delicious Umbrian cuisine created by 3 local cooks.
I’m bringing both my watercolor and oil paints to Italy this time. I am looking forward to learning oil techniques from Nora, an accomplished artist, and hope to do most of my work in that medium. But Nora mentioned that I might also be able to help some the watercolor artists who are joining us and I’m honored to be of assistance in that area too!
I’d known Jackie Wright for a long time. As a blockbuster realtor, she helped my family buy and sell numerous homes. She was an avid art lover and we’d enjoyed tons of art receptions together and painted at our portrait class every Monday for years. Jackie was a kind and interesting woman who enlivened the lives of many people in the Ann Arbor area. She passed away recently and her daughter, another close friend, generously gave me some of her art supplies. She wouldn’t take payment so I promised to paint her beautiful farm in return. Last week, I stopped by and captured the lush fields behind her horse barns.
I’m leaving for Italy tomorrow!! I’ve been packing art supplies and clothes all week and am totally geeked about 17 days in the country I love. I will be assisting at Nora Venturelli‘s workshop at La Romita in Umbria and then spending a few days on my own painting in Rome. YAHOOOOO!!!
This is a commissioned painting for some friends that I recently finished. Its a little different from the way I usually paint, more exact and realistic, but the owners wanted a very representational piece. They are planning to move soon and wanted a painting to remember the place where they raised their children and spent many happy years. Especially important were the bicycles in the driveway. They recall years of bikes littering the yard, and felt the piece wouldn’t be right without them!
As a little freebie, I painted a quick watercolor sketch of a sculpture in the front yard for the lady of the house. It seemed to have special meaning for her and it was fun to paint….
This artwork was created with:
Paper: Foam core
Medium: Windsor Newton Gouache
I love the late afternoon and early evening light. It casts a golden glow on the landscape that is unlike any other time. Usually I’m too pooped by 6 pm to go out and try again. One evening last week however, the light was so lovely that I just had to pack up and go. I traveled only a mile from my house, but in that short time, the skies in the west started to darken with storm clouds and everything changed. I set up anyway in the fields of an old farm. Sunlight peaked through every once in a while to highlight the field near the house and barns.
I painted on a well-used Ampersand board. I had already scrubbed it down twice to eradicate failed attempts and it was a chaotic hodgepodge of smeared color. I actually like working on re-purposed substrates because the color from the previous paintings often shows through the new pastel applications, as it did on the bottom of this piece.
Painted this sunlit brick house in downtown Ann Arbor on 4th of July weekend. For those of you who know the area, its right across the street from Zingerman’s Deli. Boy, was I jonesing for one of their 5-inch-high sandwiches…
One of the oil painting issues I’m trying to figure out is: How do you photograph them? I try to wait til the shine has dried a bit but I am not very patient.